So although this isn’t the cuddliest thing to talk about, this time of year tends to bring out some of the more difficult patterns (especially interpersonally) with people. We are interacting with people (i.e. family and some friends) that we don’t normally, and so we have to deal with some issues… and people… that we may be able to steer clear of the rest of the year.
But no matter what time of year it is, an understanding of how certain people relate to the world can be really important. But why is this important? You may be asking this, especially as we begin to talk about people who are difficult, miserable, or emotionally blackmail and manipulate others.
Because if we can understand people and what they are looking for, we can stop reacting to them. We can maintain our boundaries with them. We can be confronted with the worst type of person and not give them the satisfaction of the reaction that they want.
But more on that later…
I have written a bit about the Victim Triangle (or the Drama Triangle as some call it) here. I have found this construct helpful in understanding people, specifically those who present themselves as a victim. But you can read about that in the linked blog.
When talking about the “Victim” it is important to realize that I have compassion for this type of person, as should you. We all go through struggle in our lives, and some of us have been victimized again and again in this world.
But we all have a personal choice. We can remain the victim, look out at the world as a victim, and remain broken and victimized… or we can look at our struggles as a source of strength. We can realize that however horrific something was that we survived it, and take on the archetype of “warrior”, “survivor”, or “hero” instead. And we can do this even if we are still struggling to heal, even if we still feel broken or victimized or hurt… even if we are struggling to forgive.
The Victim emotionally blackmails others to get what they want.
This is a bold statement I realize, but we all, unless we have really and truly worked on ourselves, respond emotionally to people (and even then, we still can and do). We like to think ourselves as creatures of logic, but we are not. We are emotional creatures.
The Victim Archetype has realized this.
They will tell their story in hopes of sympathy, in hopes of support. This is all well and good– we all need support, we all need help.
But their agenda is not to receive that sympathy or support. In fact, many who hold onto the Victim archetype will actively refuse much needed help or support and see an agenda behind it. They are unable to see (or perhaps were never able to see) the world as a supportive place, and may believe that the world and all of the people in it are out to continually victimize them.
The Victim Archetype will actively tell their story so they can emotionally blackmail others.. so they can get the response they want and need.
So the real question is what do they want and need? They may need help, they may want help, and some are willing to rise above the victim archetype and into the warrior or hero archetype, and those people are seeking help to heal or to be in community.
But others who do this are so stuck on being the Victim that they really are looking for people to either enable them, which means that they will continue to be a Victim but just with more energy (your energy, in fact… and likely your time, emotions, and the sort of drama that come from people like this creating havoc in your life)… or to become a perpetrator to them, consolidating their view that the world and the people in it are continually persecuting them and victimizing them.
They do this by emotional blackmail, by continually telling their story and wanting a reaction based off of it. It is beautiful when a survivor tells their story. It is emotional blackmail when someone tells their story or talks about their lives for the express purpose of either taking energy from you (provoking an emotional reaction) or to get you to do something for them. It is also typical that this is incredibly one-sided, as the eternal Victim has nothing to give, and will attach to others to drain them of their energy…
And energetically and spiritually how and when we have the most energy is when we are having an emotional reaction to something. Magical and spiritual practitioners for millennia have known the power of emotions and what sort of energy they generate. Although many do not know this consciously, “trolls” on the internet, friends, family, and the Victim archetype all provoke emotional reactions in order to deplete others of energy.
So hopefully many of the Victims of this world will rise up, will see the strength and power of being a survivor, a hero, and become a light to others. Hopefully they will realize that their beliefs are coloring their world, and the world can be a place that can nurture and support them. Hopefully they can heal, and fill that emptiness inside that has them reaching out again and again, provoking and emotionally blackmailing others to fill that black hole within themselves… and instead fill it with their own power. I have hope that many can, and I have seen others through this process many times… and it is always beautiful to witness someone realizing their own strength and resiliency, to witness someone heal after something traumatic (or many things traumatic).
But it is not our responsibility to change the Victim. They have to want to, and they have to be ready to do so. And some (or many) will not do so, because it is difficult, or they are too broken to, or just are not yet ready to.
So what can we do when faced with the Victim? We can realize what they are doing. We can realize the emotional manipulation, the blackmail. We can see them for who they truly are. People who are healed and whole do not need to fill up on the energy of other people, and they do not need to manipulate others.
Feel sad for the person that they need to be this way in the world, and how hard that must be for them. How hard it must be to think that everyone and everything is victimizing you, and the only way you can make your way in this world is by emotionally blackmailing others.
It is such a hard existence to think this way and to act this way. These people are lonely, desperate, and reactionary… lashing out at anyone and anything that they perceive is persecuting them.
Once you realize who they are, and what they are doing, name it in your mind: “Oh, this person is the perpetual Victim archetype, and they are emotionally blackmailing me to get me to do something for them or to cause a reaction”.
Although this seems simple, this is often enough to maintain and realize boundaries. Once you realize someone is like this, you stop emotionally reacting to them. You stop giving them what they need, what they are trying to feed on, and you will stop enabling them. And when you do this, they will at first get angry and treat you as a persecutor (especially if you have enabled them in the past). But if you realize who they are continually, you stop reacting to them. You stop giving them your energy (and likely your time, and so forth).
The Victim then has two choices– they can either find someone new… or they can interact with you in a new way. Most will choose to find someone new rather than interact with you in a new way. Their patterns are too ingrained, and they are not ready or do not wish to heal.
But you are then free. Free to interact with them without this cycle occurring, free to not interact with them if you do not need to… conscious and free to be who you are, with boundaries, and to not let anyone manipulate you into doing something emotionally, physically, or energetically, that goes against your nature.